Bulgaria | Romania
The Bulgarian lands are ancient crossroads, populated from the time of antiquity. The state of Bulgaria has 1300 years of history, and only Greece and Italy have more ancient archaeological monuments.
Much of Bulgaria’s modern day history derives from the period when the country was conquered and absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in the 1300’s. Turkish rule was often oppressive and rebellions were frequent. In fact, at the height of Ottoman supremacy, a determined effort was even made to destroy Bulgarian Christianity and the Bulgarian language!
In the 1800’s, Bulgarian nationalism surged, and a major rebellion broke out in 1876. The subsequent Turkish reprisals provided a reason for the Russians to invade their neighbor in what become known as the Russo-Turkish War. This left a largely autonomous Bulgaria, but marked the beginning of a lengthy period of influence by the Russians.
Bulgaria entered World War I on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary, largely in an effort to regain lands lost to the Ottomans. There was a great amount of domestic opposition to the war, so when Bulgaria's military position crumbled, its leaders fled. Even so, Bulgaria was on the losing side, and was forced to pay reparations, much of it in the form of territory.
In World War II, Bulgaria saw an alliance with Germany once again, as an opportunity to satisfy its territorial claims. But, in 1944 the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria. Soviet troops entered the country and seized power immediately.
After a short period of coalition rule, the Communists succeeded in taking over the Bulgarian government completely. The monarchy was abolished, and in 1947 a new constitution was enacted. Bulgaria became a one-party state. Industry was nationalized. Farms were collectivized.
Bulgaria had no choice but to closely follow the Soviet Union’s lead in all domestic and foreign policies. But in the mid-1950s the Communist government began to loosened its grip.
In August of 1990, in what was a peaceful transition, the first non-Communist political leader in 40 years was elected president. Bulgaria was able to shed years of Soviet dominated oppression along with many other countries from the former Eastern Bloc. Economic reforms were introduced and a new constitution created a parliamentary democracy.
The Union of Democratic Forces Party won a major victory in parliamentary elections in 1997, a time at which Bulgaria’s economy was seriously weakened by the loss of Yugoslavia as a major trading partner due to UN economic sanctions. But soon thereafter, the populace elected a former king as premier, Simeon II, under the Nationalist Party, and a more conventional politician, Socialist Georgy Parvanov, as the Head of State. Since then Bulgaria has been able to make great strides in the quality of government and has reduced corruption substantially. In fact, Bulgaria became a member of NATO in March of 2004 and officially joined the EU in January of 2007.
Additional statistics and facts that suggest immense Agricultural Investment Opportunities in the fertile Black Sea Farm Belt of Bulgaria. [View Stats]